I advise all stores to learn from India: Domino’s CEO

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NEW DELHI: Domino’s Pizza Inc is all set to nearly double its presence in India, its second largest market outside of home country America. The world’s largest pizza chain has close to 20,000 stores in 95 countries with US accounting for 6,700 followed by India at 1,700. The number here will grow to about 3,000 in the medium term, Domino’s CEO Russell Weiner told TOI on Tuesday. “India is a critical market for us, the biggest market store-wise outside of the US. We will add about 250 stores every year,” Weiner said.
With Russia’s war on Ukraine pushing up prices of everything from grains to oil globally, Weiner says he is advising stores globally to learn from the India example. “I advise (stores all over) to do it like Domino’s India. When you are the number one pizza company and number one restaurant in India, you have scale. During tough times the way to offer great prices to customers is by having leverage with suppliers and passing along those savings to your customers. Domino’s India does that very well,” Weiner said.
Asked about competition from delivery kitchens and cloud kitchens, he said: “What’s really important is that unlike other restaurants and delivery apps, Domino’s pizza is always delivered by Domino’s. Our pizza never leaves our hands until its gets to your hands. There is no middle person,” he added.
The pandemic increased consumers’ reliance on delivery and that used to be this chain of quick service restaurants (QSR) was good at even before 2020. It has now launched 20-minutes delivery across 20 zones in India.“One of the reasons Domino’s India focuses on 20-minute delivery is to give a hot fresh pizza to consumers.” However, it says the mantra is “safety first for riders” and delivering in 20 minutes will happen where it can do so safely through a wide network of stores. Like Bengaluru, for instance, has 165 stores.
The chain is now increasingly using technology, with its App seeing 90 lakh downloads every quarter. “Covid impact was seen on sit downs as people wouldn’t go out to eat and that pushed delivery. It will be really interesting to see post Covid how that goes back to where it used to be historically,” Weiner said. In the US, carry out and sit down is larger than delivery.
In India, the largest chunk of business comes from delivery and sit-in accounting for 30%. But the single biggest channel for getting new customers remains the stores. Therefore, it sees dine-in and stores as essential part of its business strategy and to grow in new markets here. “Without dine in I don’t think we will attract new customers who over a period time will graduate to delivery and take-away,” said Sameer Khetrapal, CEO & MD of Jubilant FoodWorks that operates brands like Domino’s Pizza in India. In the US, the ratio is 60% is delivery and 40% is take away from stores.

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